THE Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma said the government has outlined a new financial regime that would see the state raise its monthly internally generated revenue (IGR) to N5 billion soon.
Uzodinma, who made the promise at the maiden stakeholders’ forum held on Friday in Owerri to mark Democracy Day said the state currently generates N1.2 billion monthly from a paltry N600 million monthly when he assumed office.
Uzodinma said that the government’s model for achieving the monthly target without increasing taxes or introducing new ones, involves a combination of creative interventions and prudent warehousing of government receipts and inflows.
The governor announced the cancellation of any form of consultancy so that every state monies goes straight into the IGR coffers without passing through a middle man.
He said, that the state has through the new regime, “managed to save an average of N2 billion every month,” and “we have plugged leakages in the civil service, public service and the pension payrolls.
“This will increase as the months go by and heads of various ministries, departments and agencies imbibe the new culture of transparency and probity.
“We have also established a digital template, which ensures that all payments, into and out of government coffers must be automated. This is to ensure proper accountability.”
On the COVID-19 pandemic, the governor said the government had taken proactive measures “to prevent and control the spread of the virus in the state” and safeguard the health of the people.
He said: “We provided 30 ambulances, one for each local government area and three for the state capital.
“Each of the ambulances is connected to the call centre so that any emergency development reported to the call centre is handled with dispatch.’
“We also provided six well-equipped isolation and treatment centres.”
He claimed that Imo “is one of the states with the lowest COVID-19 incidents,” and that the government has embarked on an aggressive public awareness campaign on safety protocols for COVID-19 by deploying the media fully.
On the Democracy Day celebrations, Uzodinma said, “I believe that President Muhammadu Buhari deserves commendation for his courage and foresight in rightly legalising June 12 as the official democracy day celebration for the country.
“June 12 is the day of the Nigerian voter; it is the day that assures us that no force on earth, nor intensity of capricious manipulation can trample the collective will of the people.”